Whats happened this week.


A quiet week on the runners front this past week. The most important event of the week involved a nine mile stroll along the banks of the Kennet and Avon Canal but more of that in a bit. We had a very welcome visitor in Alan Bell who came down to see the yard and took shares in three horses as a result, we enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Bell in Ramsbury followed by a bracing morning on the gallops and a good pub lunch at the Plough in Eastbury. As a result the partnership in Mutineer who will race under the combined banner of Ontoawinner and Capture the Moment is completely sold out. This means we only have one share left in the yearlings we purchased last year. The stunning Big Bad Bob filly we purchased at Tattersalls Ireland. There is just 25% left in this athletic filly who looks a lovely type for the seven furlong and mile races at two but should progress to become a proper three year old middle distance filly. More Details about her can be found here.

Big Bad Bob ex. Miracle Steps a classy yearling filly.
Flooded (Archipenko ex. Spate Rise)
On Friday I (Daniel) turned up at the unlikely venue of Theale railway station to meet a rag tag bunch of trainers, local owners, stud farmers, the odd journalist, a certain recently retired jumps jockey and a larger than life man dressed in a pair of shorts over leggings. Richard Farquhar is one of those fantastic people you meet from time to time, particularly through racing who possesses boundless enthusiasm and positive energy. He has thrown himself into a unique challenge.

In 2015, 60 racecourses across mainland Britain will stage race meetings. Over the course of thirteen months, from March 2015 to April 2016, Richard Farquhar will walk across the nation, connecting all 60 of them in what will end up as a single, unbroken chain. From Newton Abbot in the South to Perth in the North, Yarmouth in the East to Ffos-Las in the West, Richard will leave very few parts of the country untouched. The journey will take him through countless cities, towns and villages, giving people all over the UK the chance to get involved in ‘Walking The Courses’, a truly unique charity campaign.
Each leg of ‘Walking The Courses’ will end with Richard’s arrival at a racecourse on the day that there is a race meeting, adding an exciting feature to each of these race days. Richard’s journey does not finish at the moment he reaches the gates of the racecourse, however. On the contrary, he will, quite literally, be walking the courses, ending each leg with a lap of the racetrack itself, finishing at the winning post. Richard hopes that trainers, jockeys and other interested individuals will join him on this lap of the track, to encourage him through the last few furlongs.
The combined distance that Richard will cover during ‘Walking The Courses’ will be approximately 3,000 miles.
The journey begins on the 20th March 2015 at Newmarket, the home of racing. Richard will walk to Towcester Racecourse, arriving about seventy miles later at the meeting on the 23rd March. On the 1st April, Richard will head north and set out from Perth racecourse to Musselburgh racecourse, completing a northern leg of the journey. Thirteen months later and no doubt a stone or more lighter, Richard will find himself back at Newmarket Racecourse, having filled in all of the legs of his immense journey. Walking The Courses will conclude at the Craven Meeting, a meeting that Richard attended for 26 consecutive years with his father, to whose memory ‘Walking The Courses’ is dedicated: a fitting meeting at which to finish this brave undertaking.

img_6268.jpg Richard is very passionate about his causes and took the time to explain to all on the walk why the charities he was working with were so important. Racing Welfare is a fantastic organisation that provides all manner of support to those that work in racing, but I’ll choose to focus on Richard’s other charity, Pancreatic Cancer UK as I found some of what Richard relayed as staggering. Having lost my own father to cancer (albeit a different form) many years ago its something that is always in my mind. Pancreatic Cancer is particularly nasty, survival rates are very very low and its progress normally very rapid. Its not the most common cancer but still affects plenty of people. One of the problems is that because survival rates are so low, relatively little research is done, the tendency to being to focus on those where cures seem more realistic. Part of the money Richard is raising will be targeted at one of the most intensive research projects ever carried out into the disease in the UK. The other area that Pancreatic Cancer UK focuses on is support for those afflicted by the disease, whilst the diagnosis of any cancer is devastating news the nature of pancreatic cancer is such that support and help needs to be made available fast and effectively.

If anyone would like to donate to this very worthy challenge please follow the link here. Also if you see Richard on a racecourse please say hi to him, it will be worth spending five minutes of your time in his company, or even better walk a leg of his epic adventure with him – it will benefit your body and soul.